The SF Board of Supervisors failed to approve Mayor Breed’s nomination of Jane Natoli yesterday, with Supervisors Fewer, Mar, Peskin, Preston, Walton and Yee voting against her appointment, and Supervisor Safaí absent. As a result, two vacancies remain unfilled on the SFMTA Board of Directors. The SFMTA plays a critical role in San Francisco’s recovery efforts, and these prolonged vacancies are hurting people who rely on Muni, our beleaguered small business community, and the tens of thousands of essential workers who still need to travel within our city on a daily basis.
Jane Natoli was a highly qualified nominee for the SFMTA Board whom we were proud to support. As an elected member of the SF Bicycle Coalition’s board of directors, Jane demonstrated an ability to work with disparate voices and viewpoints, strong fiscal oversight, and support for a just and equitable transportation system. We disagree strongly with the six supervisors who voted no on her nomination, placing political considerations above Jane’s qualifications, views, and experience.
While we were pleased to see nominee Sharon Lai approved yesterday, Mayor Breed and the Board of Supervisors must waste no time in nominating and approving two additional directors to the SFMTA Board, and fill these vacancies by October. Our transportation system is in danger of collapsing amid mounting economic and health challenges, and fewer directors on the SFMTA board means an increased likelihood of canceled meetings and votes not being able to pass. Without funding for transit operations and strong plans to make biking and walking in our city safe, San Francisco cannot advance an equitable and just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Join us in calling on Mayor Breed to nominate two strong candidates to the SFMTA Board and demand that the Board of Supervisors hear and approve them by October. It’s never a good time to play politics with a transportation system that hundreds of thousands of San Franciscans depend on daily, but continuing to do so at this moment will have real and life-threatening consequences.